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UNMC doctors discuss postpartum depression

Dr. Sharon Hammer, Lisa Blair, Dr. Marley Doyle, and Leigh Cook led a panel discussion on postpartum depression.

Dr. Sharon Hammer, Dr. Marley Doyle, and nurse practitioner Leigh Cook led a discussion on postpartum depression as part of UNMC’s Science Café Series.

The panel discussion was held on Nov. 13 at The Showdown in Omaha. Joining the panel was Nebraska Medicine nurse Lisa Blair, who discussed her struggles and treatment of postpartum depression. Dr. Doyle applauded Lisa’s bravery and hopes that more women share their struggles with the most common medical complication of giving birth.

“Unfortunately, women don’t talk about it enough,” said Dr. Marley Doyle. “That needs to change, so people don’t go through it alone.”

Dr. Hammer said a woman often deals with thoughts which come out of nowhere, including that she is not the mother that her baby deserves or that she made a mistake.

“They feel a sense of being profoundly overwhelmed,” said Dr. Hammer. “Even normal things like not being able to deal with taking the baby to the grocery store or giving the baby a bath can be overwhelming. The expectation is that the birth of a child should be the happiest time of your life, so many women don’t share their unhappiness.”

The panel discussed the recommended treatments. Psychotherapy and anti-depressants along with close follow-up and continued monitoring of symptoms can help with mild and moderate depression. New mothers with severe depression should start taking an antidepressant and consistently refer to a mental health provider for treatment.

Science Café is a monthly event at The Slowdown where the general public can discuss timely issues with doctors at UNMC and Nebraska Medicine.

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